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Pixelmator 3.1 gains dual-GPU & 16-bit image support with Apple's new Mac Pro

A major update for popular OS X image editing application Pixelmator hit the Mac App Store on Wednesday, with version 3.1 boasting a number of improvements designed for Apple's new Mac Pro, including dual GPU support for more fluid performance.


Pixelmator 3.1, dubbed "Marble," is available as an update for existing owners on the Mac App Store, while new users can purchase the software for $29.99. Marble takes advantage of the dual graphics card horsepower found in Apple's revamped Mac Pro desktop, promising to leverage the horsepower offered by the high-end machine.

Also available for Mac Pro users is new 16-bits-per-channel color image support. That means users can now edit rich and vibrant images with Pixelmator on the Mac Pro.

Optimizations have also been made for all quad-, 6-, 8- and 12-core Intel Xeon processors, allowing users better zoom-out handling and faster bitmap layer duplications. Images are also said to open faster, auto-saving is computed in the background while image composition is rendered, and Pixelmator 3.1 also utilizes increased memory bandwidth from the new Mac Pro.

Mac Pro

Changes in Pixelmator 3.1 are not limited to owners of the new Mac Pro, as all users can now order image prints from the software. The team behind the image editing tool has also advertised the following improvements:

  • Layer Styles Improvements:

    • Now, you can select more than one layer with styles and change the opacity of the selected layers all at once.
    • When you move a selection made on layers with styles, the layer style always stays visible, even when you go to another app and back.
    • You can now apply styles on a new layer right after you've painted with the Paint Bucket Tool or the Pixel Tool.
    • When converting layers with styles into regular layers, the Opacity setting always stays intact.
    • When you clear layer contents, the layer style icon disappears as well.
    • The Styles palette stays active when you copy layers with styles into a newly created document.
    • You can now change the gradient fill for newly created text or shape layers from the Gradients palette without opening the Styles palette.
    • When you choose a color in the Colors palette, it doesn't change the color choice in the Styles palette.
    • You can now remove style presets even if you have several layers with styles selected.
    • After you clear a layer style, you can now remove layer style presets.

Pixelmator 3.0

Example of Pixelmator 3.0's new liquify tools.

  • Other Improvements

    • Pointillize, Pixelize, Mandala, Concert, City Lights, Color Hatch, X-ray, Infrared, Line Dye, Tracer, Scanner, Newspaper, Neon, ASCII, Blue Print and Projectile effects are now available again.
    • The effects' rope is now more stable.
    • Improved RAW image file format support.
    • You can now turn off Auto Select on shape layers as well as on the others layers.
    • When you Control-click the selection on an empty layer, you can now choose Refine selection from the shortcut menu.
    • When grouped text layers are duplicated, the text stays visible.
    • When text or shape layers are converted into pixels, the Opacity setting stays intact.
    • Now you can drag a gradient preset to the Finder.
    • Improvements have been made for the outside stroke effect.
    • New layers are no longer added when painting with the Paint Bucket Tool set to 0% of Opacity.
    • Colors are updated in the Fill dialog correctly, whether you choose the dialog from the Menu bar or use the keyboard shortcut.
    • The "Low disk space" message no longer appears when there's lots of space on the computer.
    • Improved localizations.
    • And other tiny-yet-annoying bugs, random graphical glitches, and crashes have been fixed.

For more on Pixelmator, see AppleInsider's profile of the team behind the software, published last fall.